Native apps are applications that live on a device and can be accessed via icons that are available on the home screen of the device (Budiu, 2013). The native apps are installed via stores such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Web apps are websites that look like native apps but are not true applications. They run via a browser and are written as HTML5. Hybrid apps contain features of both native apps and web apps. They live in app stores just like native apps, but they use HTML just like the web apps (Budiu, 2013).
All the three types of apps have pros and cons. The pros of native apps include faster performance compared to the other apps; getting support from app stores; and they are safe and secure (Viswanathan, 2015). The cons of native apps include very expensive; high cost of maintenance; long processes of seeking approval from the developer; difficulty in getting support while using different versions of the app.
The pros of web apps include ease of maintenance; compatibility with older mobile devices; there is no need for the approval of the developers; quick release of the apps; and there is no need for downloads or updates on the mobile devices (Viswanathan, 2015). The cons of web apps include limited scope of access; high costs of development on apps supporting multiple browsers; difficulty in keeping records of usage due to various browsers; difficulty in finding a web app; and lack of safety and security.
The pros of hybrid apps include the advantages of both native apps and web apps; and the bridging of the deficiencies experienced from native apps and web apps (Gagern, 2013). The cons of hybrid apps include impaired performance; and lack of frequent updates. The impaired performance is faced when the hybrid app tries to access online data. The lack of frequent updates is experienced if there is offline caching (Gagern, 2013).
Budiu, R., (2013, Sep 14). Mobile: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps. Nielsen Norman Group. Retrieved from: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/mobile-native-apps/
Viswanathan, P., (2015). The Pros and Cons of Native Apps and Mobile Web Apps. About Tech. Retrieved from: http://mobiledevices.about.com/od/additionalresources/qt/The-Pros-And-Cons-Of-Native-Apps-And-Mobile-Web-Apps.htm
Gagern, S., (2013, Dec 4). Native vs. Web App vs. Hybrid – What is the Optimal Developer Strategy. Developer Garden. Retrieved from: https://www.developergarden.com/en/blog/articles/article/native-vs-web-app-vs-hybrid-what-is-the-optimal-developer-strategy/